Allowing your children
to spend the summer holidays indoors watching hours of videos instead of playing and exercising outdoors could be setting them up for long-term health problems, according to researchers.
They’ve found children’s fitness levels drop over the course of the summer holidays , so they often return to school in September overweight and with significantly lower cardiorespiratory fitness. This could have a severe long-term health impact for them, raising the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, a study by scientists at the UK Active health charity and the University of Essex has found.
Study leader Dr Steven Mann , of UK Active and Coventry University, said: “Being inactive as a child sets a dangerous precedent on a number of levels.
“As well as being linked to impaired physical development, shorter attention span and lower grades, an inactive childhood means that person faces a much higher risk of deadly diseases such as heart disease, cancer and type-II diabetes in later lif e.”
The study tracked the fitness and weight of more than 400 children aged nine and 10 in 13 primary schools across north-west England over a 13-month period. Researchers found fitness increased and body mass index (BMI) fell throughout the school year, from September of 2014 until July 2015. But those improvements were all but wiped out during the summer holidays. By the time they returned to school in the autumn of 2015, they were more likely to be unfit and overweight.
Experts are worried that obesity is becoming normalised in Britain with 20% of children starting primary school at age four already overweight and 33% overweight by the time they start secondary school at age 11.
What’s more, children in Britain are among the least active in the world . Government advice says children should do at least an hour of moderate intensity physical activity per day, but just 15% of girls and 22% of boys aged 11 to 15 in England manage this. Only one in three are doing any organised sport outside of school.
Dr Mann said , "Movement has been stripped out of modern living, meaning Generation Inactive are driven to school and fed a staple diet of sofa play and screen time while being starved of outdoor activities.”
Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England , has urged families to change their behaviour to incorporate exercise. He said exercise has been shown to cut 3% of strokes, prevent 30% cases of dementia, 30 % of osteoporosis, radically reduce breast cancers and bowel cancers, prevent depression, reduce stress, and eliminate type 2 diabetes.
He said - “If you could pack exercise into a magic pill, it would be a pharmaceutical blockbuster,” .
About Ju Jitsu Rugby
Ju Jitsu Rugby offers Martial Arts Classes for Children , Martial Arts Classes For Adults and Adult Fitness Classes in Newbold-on- Avon, Rugby. To find out more call - 01788 220 172 or visit our website - www.ju-jitsu-rugby.com
Ju Jitsu Rugby also run School Holiday Camps - Designed to Give Your Kids a Safe and Active Summer. If you would like to find out more, visit - http://www.ju-jitsu-rugby.com/summer-camp